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USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for Tennessee Disaster Areas

WASHINGTON, September 9, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that eligible Tennessee residents in Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys counties recovering from severe storms and flooding that began on Aug. 21, 2021 could be qualified to receive help from the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that households who may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP if they meet certain criteria including the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

“USDA stands with our neighbors in Tennessee to provide vital food assistance as they deal with the aftermath of the severe storms and flooding,” said Secretary Vilsack. “We recognize that the crisis doesn’t end when the rain dies down and stand by ready to assist those in need.” 

To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must either live or work in an identified disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Eligible households will receive one month of benefits – equal to the maximum monthly amount for a SNAP household of their size – that they can use to purchase groceries at SNAP-authorized stores or from select retailers online to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. Tennessee will share information about D-SNAP application dates and locations through local media.

The timing of D-SNAP varies with the unique circumstances of each disaster, but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating D-SNAP, a state must ensure that the proper public information, staffing and resources are in place.

The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a collection of USDA actions taken to help Tennessee residents cope with the severe storms and flooding that began on Aug. 21, 2021, and its aftermath, which also include: 

  • Approving a waiver to allow SNAP participants to use their SNAP benefits to buy hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption at authorized SNAP retailers in six hard-hit counties (Benton, Dickson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys and Perry) through Sept. 21, 2021. 
  • Approving a timely reporting requirement waiver in Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys counties through Sept. 30, 2021, allowing affected residents more time to notify the state of food lost as a result of the storm. 

For more information about available aid, contact the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) at 1-800-621-3362. For more information about Tennessee SNAP, visit Tennessee’s Department of Human Services

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) leverages its 15 nutrition assistance programs to ensure that children, low-income individuals, and families have opportunities for a better future through equitable access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food, while building a more resilient food system. Under the leadership of Secretary Tom Vilsack, FNS is fighting to end food and nutrition insecurity for all through programs such as SNAP, school meals, and WIC. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To learn more, visit www.fns.usda.gov

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. 

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